Whereas various liberal commentators and left-of-center bloggers have contended, to borrow the mild language of CNN’s Roland S. Martin, that Governor Walker seeks to “to end the collective bargaining rights of the various public employees“, that Republican, in fact, in the words of Ed Morrissey proposes only “to limit collective bargaining to wages only — not policy and work environment issues — and to end the ‘closed shop’ in the government sector.”
Walker is not, as some have suggested, trying to bust unions, but merely standing up for the state’s taxpayers against public employee unions. And those unions, as Michael Barone reminds us, siphon money from taxpayers and into the hands of the Democrats:
Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.
It’s Barone, read the whole thing. Would the Democrats and their media allies be fighting so hard if Walker and his fellow elected Republicans weren’t challenging a mainstay of Democratic campaign finance? There is, as I noted before, a clear conflict of interest when public employee unions engaging in politicking.
Let’s hope that the media firestorm generated by Governor Walker’s modest proposal will cause us to promote an open debate about such politicking. Recall that in the California gubernatorial race last fall, much ado was made of Republican nominee Meg Whitman pouring tens of millions of her own funds into her campaign, but little reporting was done about the tens of millions public employee unions poured into the campaign of her opponent (and his Democratic allies).
We need pay more attention to their influence. As Barone did in the piece above, Peter Ferrara also does so in his piece reminding us that liberal icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt opposed collective bargaining for public employees (via Instapundit). Jennifer Rubin helps us distinguish between “between collective bargaining in the public sector and that in the private sector.” These folks have begun the conversation. Let’s hope that the hullabaloo over Governor Walker’s sensible reforms gives such views a wider hearing.
More on this anon. Much more.